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West Bloomfield, Walled Lake

February 19, 2013

West Bloomfield High, Walled Lakes set to start girls basketball tourney

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

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West Bloomfield High, Walled Lakes set to start girls basketball tourney
Ashley Zeigler and the West Bloomfield basketball team open the Class A tournament against Seaholm in a 5:30 p.m. game on Feb. 27.

After months of preparation, regular-season games and dissecting draws, girls throughout the state are set to tip-off the 2013 basketball postseason.

For the squad at West Bloomfield High, the hope centers on a bountiful payoff following a grueling run through the Oakland Activities Association Red Division.

“Can’t wait,” coach Zach Hilbers boasted last week. “By this time in the year, the playoffs are what you’re aiming for. It’s been a grind every night in the Red, and I’ve seen us getting better every night. It’s to the point now where we just want to be part of it and get things going.”

The Lakers kick things off in the Class A tournament at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 27 against Birmingham Seaholm at Marian.

West Bloomfield, which was 7-7 overall at press time, including a 3-6 mark in the Red, faces a Seaholm team that was 6-9 at press time and 4-6 in the OAA Blue.

“We know they have a pretty good post player and a pretty good point guard,” Hilbers said. “The goal for us will be neutralizing their top players, and if we can do that, we’ll be in good shape.”

Much of Hilbers’ confidence comes from the schedule his team has endured.

The Red is considered by many as one of the toughest divisions in the state, and while the Lakers’ record may not be glamorous, as he explained last week, his girls aren’t likely to see anything, come playoff time, they haven’t experienced already.

Which means, the goal now is a district crown.

“That’s it,” he said with a laugh. “It’s like I’ve told the girls, when you find a way to get past the district round, you’re one of just 32 teams left, and you’ve got as good a chance as anyone. It won’t be easy, and we know that. If we get past Seaholm, we’ll (likely) face a Marian team that is one of the best around, but that’s the goal — that’s what we feel capable of doing.”

On the other side of the bracket, Bloomfield Hills Lahser and Bloomfield Hills Andover meet at 5 p.m. Feb. 25 with the winner playing Marian at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27.

The district final is at 7 p.m. March 1.

“We’ve got a good group of seniors,” Hilbers added. “Come playoff time, I think that counts for a lot. We feel with what we’ve done so far and with the group we have, we’ll have a shot. That’s all you can ask for.”

In other Class A action
All three Walled Lake schools will be in Class A district action at North Farmington.

At 7 p.m. Feb. 25, Walled Lake Western and Walled Lake Central clash in a quarterfinal game, with the winner advancing to face White Lake Lakeland at 7 p.m. Feb. 27.

Walled Lake Northern drew a first-round bye, and plays the winner of North Farmington and Farmington Hills Harrison at 5 p.m. Feb. 27.

The district final is set for 6 p.m. March 1.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.